You may be considering braces and probably have some questions and concerns of your own about braces. Some of those questions may include how you’re going to pay for them, length of treatment, and what is the best age to get braces. Here’s the lowdown on this aspect of dental care.
Most common reasons why people need braces?
- Crooked teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- Malocclusion (bad bite)
- Bad persistent habits (i.e. thumb sucking)
- Genetics (if you or someone in your family needed braces, chances are your child will also)
- Affected speech
- Gum disease and tooth loss
- Jaw problems
- Teeth grinding
- Tooth injury
- Cosmetic appearance
Types of Braces:
Today there are many options to choose from:
- Traditional Braces: Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires.
- Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces, but are made of transparent ceramic. The wires can also be transparent to make the braces less noticeable.
- Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are the pretty much the same as traditional metal braces. The only difference is that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of the teeth.
- Clear Aligners: Clear aligners consist of custom-made, mouth guard-like clear plastic aligners. The aligners are removable and are replaced every two to three weeks.
What is the most common age get braces:
There is typically no set age for a child to get braces. Some dentists recommend children start seeing the orthodontist as early as 6. Some kids start when they are 10, and some don’t start seeing an orthodontist until they are in their teens. Dental professionals recommend to wait either until:
- All primary/baby teeth are gone
- 12 year molars (aka second molars) are starting to grow in
Here are some risks of putting braces on young children:
Something to keep in mind is that caring for your braces is essential to an effective treatment plan. This is why it’s sometimes suggested to put early teens in braces as opposed to younger children.
- It’s so easy for food to get stuck in wired braces, your child will have to take extra care and implement a proper brushing regimen to mitigate the risk of cavities (which can develop in between the brackets). This can be difficult for young children.
- What child doesn’t like snacks? Foods like popcorn, candy, and gum can all damage braces. It can be easier to enforce better eating habits in young children, but just as difficult to enforce a proper brushing regime.
- Young children don’t understand the costs associated with braces. This appliance is very expensive (despite the fact you have coverage or not).
- Young children are less likely to wear the removable retainer after their braces are off, causing the teeth to re-shift back into their original position.
Braces are an important step to giving your child the smile that will give them confidence and high self-esteem. We will help your family start that journey by advising you on what is the best age for braces for your children.
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A version of this post was first published on Altima Dental Blog